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Birmingham, Alabama

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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Doctor must Pay $9M for Patient Death

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A Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury has held a Miami Doctor liable for $9 million dollars in damages in the death of a patient. The case involves Dr. Carmel Barrau. Jessie Sturdivant was his patient in 1999.

On Thursday, Jay Cohen, of the Miami firm of Grossman and Roth won the judgment on behalf of Sturdivant’s wife. The attorney said his next step is to file a bad faith claim against Barrau’s medical malpractice insurance carrier, Pronational Insurance, to try and get them to pay the entire claim.

Both Cohen and Pronational rejected an offer to settle within policy limits.

The case arose because Jessie Sturdivant suffered an aneurysm and Barrau admitted him to Parkway Regional. After a disagreement with another physician, Barrau stopped acting as coordinator for Sturdivant’s care and stopped checking on the patient, the complaint said. Sturdivant fell into a coma and died.

Although current law limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases to $500,000 in most instances, the Sturdivant case was filed prior to the 2003 cap.